How one dying man led the movement to save Clissold Park

Joseph Beck

This man, Joseph Beck, is the reason Clissold Park wasn’t redeveloped – despite battling cancer of the tongue, he campaigned tirelessly to save it.

His motivation, he said, was so: “children could take their fist steps on the grass of Clissold Park and one day play under the sun.”

This weekend a special event is being held to mark the park’s 130th anniversary. The story of its survival is the stuff movies are made of!

Clissold House and the land surrounding it was built and landscaped in the 1790s for Quaker, city merchant and anti-slavery campaigner Jonathan Hoare. In those days Stoke Newington was a rural village with big houses and large gardens. The house and land passed to the Crawshaw family (wealthy ironmongers from Yorkshire) in 1811.